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Alarming increase in speeding

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Figures for those reported for prosecution for speeding in the Frome area in 2019 showed an alarming increase of nearly 20% over 2018 reports.

Ashley Reay from the Community Speed Watch team reports, “It is both disappointing and frustrating that despite a generous allowance of at least 10% + 2 mph before prosecution is considered, that these offences still continue unabated. Over 2,500 motorists were reported for prosecution in the Frome area in 2019 for excess speed’.

“The police have even set up ‘stop and advise’ sites within Frome where they give words of advice instead of issuing a fixed penalty for speeding.1750 warning letters were also sent to offending motorists with seemingly little effect.

“Lets be perfectly clear and dispel the myth that speeding offences are just to raise monies for the local police as if you elect to take the penalty points and a fine if reported for speeding then 100% of that money goes to the government. Not a penny goes to the police. The aims of both the speed enforcement unit, police and community speed watch is to get the motorist to slow down not to prosecute but this does require an effort to be made by the public. 

“Speed enforcement vehicles even drive deliberately through high residential areas to announce their presence, but even this has had little effect.

“The public has been and continues to be treated very fairly by the speed enforcement teams but they will not be just standing by when speeds of over 80 mph  (30 mph zone) are seen at locations like Warminster Road in Frome on a regular basis. Further speed checks will be carried out almost daily at high speeding sites within the Frome area. It is time for some of the public to take regular looks at their driving and slow down before more tragedy occurs.”

Photo credit Speed enforcement at Warminster Road.

One Response to Alarming increase in speeding

  1. alan

    January 26, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    Dear Sir

    I am writing to you as one of those 2500 motorists recently captured on this stretch of road – ie. the Warminster Road and would like to respond to Ashley Reay’s comments in the article “Alarming Increase In Speeding” in the Frome Times dated 16th January”

    Now I admit I was speeding and should naturally suffer the results of that indiscretion however, I have to say the punishment was out of all proportion. Firstly this is my first speeding ticket in over 28 years of driving and I’ve driven all over the UK and Europe – but I always thought it was only a matter of time before I was fined through some speed trap.

    Firstly, the location of this speeding enforcement van based at the bottom of the hill near Asda is a natural catch point for motorists coming down the bypass from Warminster into Frome. I live on the Portway, where cars frequently speed throughout the day – the day after I received my points and fine, a motorbike and several cars sped past me as I tried to cross the road – ouch the irony! To cap it all of when I returned to my wife’s car – some lovely person had ripped off the number plate? My point is that some 1/2 mile up the road from Asda there are traffic offences occurring many times through the day – I have yet to see that same police unit on the Portway? May I ask why not?

    Comparing the two environments is easy. On the Portway, there are numerous houses, a Lidl and a junior school. On Warminster Road there are 2 houses and a cemetery and an Asda – hardly an equal comparison. I have heard that the Police park here because people walking to Asda have complained about speeding cars? – well after having numerous bits of my cars stolen and vandalised on the Portway (as other residents have) and after numerous complaints, not one person has been arrested for that vandalism to my knowledge.

    The fine I received after pleading guilty via the internet was huge – bearing in mind it was a first offence – some £855 and 6 points for driving at 52 in that downward 30 zone – my own fault I admit and accept. The fine is made up of a £700 base fine, £85 court costs and a £70 victim charge – can I claim that £70 back please as a victim, as my wife’s car was vandalised? No didn’t think so!

    Ashley’s quote of “the public has been and continues to be treated very fairly” simply does not hold true certainly in my case. I accept his statement that the money goes straight to the government – so in essence its simply just another tax then!

    As far as the locations the speeding cameras operate in around Frome (there are others) – its either parked outside Asda, or the main road out of Frome (Oldford Hill) or at the top of Rossiter Hill – is it any coincidence that all these locations are either at the top or bottom of a hill? This levies the charge of cynical opportunism straight at the enforcement agency – tell me and prove to me it’s not true?

    Forgive my cynicism, but until they start to capture the speeding motorists on the Portway I cannot accept Ashely’s fairness argument. It would also be interesting to note as a proportion of the total volume of cars going through Frome what that 2500 number actually represents. I would argue yes catch speeding motorists by all means, but to leave one key area – the Portway alone is non-sensical and dangerous.

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